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    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
    I almost forgot the new Nothington record, Roads, Bridges and Ruins. Great sincere punk record.
  1.  (7291.2)
    this is the first year i've really stretched out and found new music released by folks i didn't already trust already... and i mostly found those i trusted to have let me down... [like Wilco and Sonic Youth]

    Beirut - March of The Zapotec (can't say i was a fan of the second realpeople EP included)
    Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (a band i've known for years, but never bought any of their stuff)
    Andrew Bird - Noble Beast (saw a Pitchfork live performance of him by himself in a church and was sold)
    The King Khan & BBQ Show - Invisible Girl (discovered King Khan & The Shrines first, but found anything Khan is basically amazing)
    Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (another band i avoided forever, but was pulled in by this lovely record)

    The Flaming Lips - Embryonic (thank Fuck did not let me down. in fact, it rejuvenated my insane love for them that manifested itself ten years ago)

    the rest of my year has been spent listening to tonnes of old Sun Ra (i bought 10 records this year), Moondog, Beefheart, Serge Gainsbourg and Nigerian Blues and Funk.

    i've still not heard the new Tom Waits, but he's basically infallible, and it's live, so it has to be good.
    and, of course, The Beatles re-masters are tasty and as good as their music has always been. they're just louder now.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2009
    To ST Wanger:

    Was that Mars Volta CD really that good? I can't decide whether I like them or not. I've liked songs by them in the past but they are so hit and miss with me.
  2.  (7291.4)
    i dont think its anywhere near as good as BEDLAM IN GOLIATH...just my opinion though
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2009
    @apefist: It is their "Pop album", most of the material being very "calm", to say so, without the hectic Wankery-Mayhem of the one before (which I totally love). It is a very good album, if you're in the mood for a more quiet rock album.
    Actually prefer the madness that Bedlam in Goliath is, too @joe.
  3.  (7291.6)
    Woo, this account is still active! I had wondered if Ariana trimmed off the comatose ones after a while...

    Veckatimest -- Grizzly Bear
    Yesterday and Today -- The Field
    Florine -- Julianna Barwick
    Fist of God -- MSTRKRFT
    Bitte Orca -- Dirty Projectors
    Potato Hole -- Booker T. Jones
    Man of Aran --British Sea Power
    Merriweather Post Pavilion -- Animal Collective
    Tarot Sport -- Fuck Buttons
    Actor -- St. Vincent

    Not all that much overlap here, hmm. Either my tastes are just different, or I wasn't paying attention to the same stuff you guys were. (I'll force you to click through to the new group-blog I'm a part of to read the reasoning behind these picks. Muhahaha!)
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009 edited
    Reporting in from Techno-Central, here's my fave albums of the last 12 months. Spent a large amount of time going through old mixtapes form high school this summer, so my taste for electropop was high priority this year.

    Telefon Tel Aviv: Immolate Yourself
    Lush, dreamy dense electronic soundscapes that you have to swim through, with the great reward of massively gorgeous album, bittered only by the reminder that it's the last.

    Towa Tei: Big Fun
    A truly international eclectic record, Tei remembers his days of happy trippy house from the early 90's, but is utterly fearless when looking for new sounds and singers in his records. "Big Fun" has no two tracks the same, and that in itself is an achievement.

    Junior Boys: Begone Dull Care
    House music that doesn't see that tag as a limitation. Smart, focused music and the same for the outside singers that they bring in to sing on them. Delivered the epic, pulsing Ewan Pearson house remix of "Hazel", which blew me out the door hearing it in New York this spring for the first time.

    Me Succeeds: Riemerling
    Lo-fi nu-synthpop, full of pleading boy and girl vocals, tweaked drum samples and analog instruments all pushing for the front, but still smart enough to leave some empty space in the mix. Dump your Owl City album and find this for a better version of the same thing.

    Ms. Kitten and The Hacker: Two
    Nice, hard electropop, Ms. Kitten giving her dry, chilly vocal stylings over Hacker's better and better synth bleeps and boops. The solo work of both of these people has been great, but something about them together eclipses and improves the other's strengths.

    Tiga: Ciao!
    2009 was a year for artists to admit their synthpop roots in full strength, and Tiga did his best to make an album full of that love, wearing it fully on his sleeve. He also remembered that good pop sticks with you in the shower the next morning, so kudos for him for not slacking on the hooks.

    Flight of the Conchords: I Told You I Was Freaky
    The show is over; bowing out at the top of one's game is a bold and brave move. Luckily Bret and Jemaine didn't slow down on the songwriting, and remembered to be funny and tuneful. A fitting soundtrack to two guys who love all music, and are talented enough to fit it all through the filter of their comedy.

    Moby: Wait for Me
    "Last Night" was a mixed bag; full of homage to a slew of styles, some more successful than others. Like Prince, when Moby goes home, sends all his buddies away and just pounds on stuff in the studio is when we get tightly focused, thematically and musically solid albums. "Wait For Me" would have come out under one of his aliases in the past, but for my money, it's his best album since "Play".

    POLYFUSE: No One Will Come To Save Us
    First industrial album I've heard in a long time, which means it's not rave-industrial/metal industrial/heavy rock with a drum machine bullshit, but rather a band that treats it's instruments like machines, and lets that sound make it to the final mix. Pure in a way that I haven't heard since Wax Trax was shitting out 12" singles as fast as they could in the late 80's.

    Waiting with great anticipation in 2010 for: Massive Attack, Hot Chip, Royksopp's "Senior" album to balance out "Junior".
  4.  (7291.8)
    5. Pulselooper - II
    4. Dan Deacon - Bromst
    3. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
    2. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
    1. minusbay - Left
    • CommentAuthorRob Diston
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009
    I can't put these in any order really but this year I've really liked:

    Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
    Pyramids with Nadja
    Pelican - What We All Come To Need
    Jesu - Infinity
    Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
    Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate...
    Zu - Carboniferous
    Sunn o))) - Monoliths & Dimensions

    I liked the Greymachine album as well, but really need to be in the right mood for that.

    Probably my favourite thing of the year has to be Jesu - Opiate Sun
    • CommentAuthorJohn Q.
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009
    Hey Apefist,

    Great to see Electric Six get the mention, i fuckin love those guys, but Kill is by far their weakest album. Haven't had a chance to listen to it a lot yet, but it hasn't struck me. Saw them live in Dublin last week though (my 8th time), awesome as ever.
  5.  (7291.11)
    @ Sizer - I'm glad you put Towa Tei down, I (foolishly) haven't picked up his album, but I saw him play earlier this year and he was tremendous. I've been randomly listening to some of his productions for other Japaese pop artists too and his tracks are invariably the standouts on the album. Man's a genius.
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009
    @Rob Diston, that Tyondai Braxton album is a far, far cry from History that has no effect. but it does brighten up a bit on the second half. otherwise, your list is pretty solid.

    @Paul Sizer, i won't ever be able to take Junior Boys seriously again. a boy told me that "What It's Like" is about me. everyone should know that that shit never works.
    • CommentAuthorRob Diston
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009
    @allana, I've not heard that, but I'll try and track it down.
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2009
    @MagicSword!: Yes, Towa is a genius. If you put him and Yoko Kanno in a studio together, the world would explode.

    @Allana: Don't let some dork with a bad pick up line spoil you hearing this really excellent album!
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2009
    @Sizer - I really, really like Junior Boys. Great songwriting.
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2009
    Like the ZU album, too. But I became tired of Mike Patton guest starring on every second Ipecac release with his typical "yiiiaaarrrgh ulululu" kind of stuff. Started to be "the same old" when he did it on the latest Dub Trio, on the ZU record it finally really started to annoy me a little bit. Nothing against him as a vocal artist, he does that thing really great. But original instrumental bands starting to have a song with him on the record, doing his signature yelling, ... gimme a break, please.
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2009
    Just got through listening to 'Dark Night of the Soul' by DJ Dangermouse and Sparklehorse, and guests (including David Lynch...)

    Available for streaming here

    ...since emi banned it's release - due to 'legal issues', DM has instead released a CD case with the album art, containing a blank CD-R..
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2009
    I really tried to get a full ten top tunes for 2009 but stopped short at nine.
    I had more disappointments than pleasant finds this year - that's what you get for trying to immerse yourself in a different genre without a guiding hand. So here we go by best order to listen to them, rather than rank

    ? (Question) – Mark Pritchard
    A cold, hard, unfeeling opening, like waking up on a black marble floor and being approached by a silicon snake

    Drumming Song – Florence and The Machine
    Lungs is the perfect name for the album from the bat-caped Florence Welch and while others prefer Dog Days, I'm swayed by her pins in the vid. It's soon to be cheesy chart pop - I only need shallow reasons to like it

    Soap on a Rope – Chickenfoot
    Daftest band name ever. Best part-time supergroup. A great cut of summer time arena rock.

    Alice! Live at the Natural History Museum – The Life Force Trio
    First track on the Echo Expansion compilation. A little harp from Alice Coltrane (yes, a relation) and a little dub underneath. Solid on its own and a good opener for an album worth picking up.

    Sacrifice – Clint Mansell
    I love Clint's soundtracks and could have picked pretty much anything from his Moon soundtrack, but this 3:30 piece encapsulates most of the themes across the record. Loneliness, despair, tinges of desperation, determination. All in a simple piano lead with a punch from the orchestra here and there. Magical

    Otacon – Reso
    Even though Reso's only putting this masterpiece of evil, grimey electronica out as part of an actual EP at the start of 2010, I heard Otacon first in February I think. It is by far and away my favourite single track this year. A vast slick of music that envelopes and then throws you about in its whirlpools and eddies until reaching the eye of its storm you're given respite before further infiltration of the senses leaves you awed and bewildered at the end of its six minutes.

    Losing Streak – Jesu
    Opening track from this year's Opiate Sun EP. We stand, we fall, we contemplate inwardly, we realise that Losing Streak is the aural accompaniment to becoming lost our daydreams.

    Axe To Fall – Converge
    Axe to Fall is pure insane, whiplash fury. A welcome return to form then for the Bostonians.

    The Last Baron - Mastodon
    It has taken me ages to grok Mastodon. Metal press loved them when they released Leviathan a few years ago and Blood Mountain got similarly goo-stained reviews after that. But their crossover prog-metal never really rang true until they released Crack The Skye this year. It is, incidentally, my album of the year. Finally they don't sound like they're trying to force motifs into their music which impress on us the concept of the album: something that jarred a lot for me with Moby Dick-themed Leviathan. Instead, there's just them and bravo for it. The Last Baron is the final track on the album, a 13 minute tale winding its way through shifting sands of legend.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2009 edited
    Considering I bought like a jillion CD's this year, I'm pretty sure only a couple were actually put out this year.

    Mastodon - Crack the Skye
    Everyone else wrote about it already. Nothing more for me to say, though I only bought it like a week ago.

    NOFX - Coaster
    Pretty decent. Not great, but pretty decent.

    Coalesce - Ox
    Pretty cool, very loud and intense. I actually meant to buy the new Keelhaul, but got confused. Oh well.

    Baroness - Blue Record
    Fucking awesome. Jake Leg is one of the coolest songs ever, as far as I can tell.

    Heard the new Propagandhi album, which was okay - much better than Potemkin City Limits anyway. Also heard Rancid's Let the Dominoes Fall. That was one of the worst albums I've ever heard from any band ever.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2009
    General comment(s): I don't know if it's possible anymore for there to be a "weak" year...since music is less of a mono-culture than once it seemed to be. Only obstacles as I see it are time, money (less of an obstacle now due to file-sharing), and well, getting tapped into a quality 'word of mouth' network like WC and various other sources. From 2005 to 2008 I was in grad school (i.e less money & time) so I still feel like I'm catching up on those years, if not beyond.

    Regarding pop music: I have to say that Lady Gaga is a truly impressive mainstream artist and deserves to be "famous" or whatever...the Black-Eyed Peas however deserve to be put in a box and dropped into the Marianas Trench. Their stuff sounds like it is just waiting to be turned into a beer/car/whatever commercial. Utterly vapid. I know, I need to lay off the haterade.

    Other than reiterating the aforementioned (Converge, Baroness, Mastodon, Isis, Tortoise, etc.)and since I am huge Zorn/Masada fan, I have to mention these -- Masada Quintet : Stolas: The Book of Angels Volume 12 and Zorn's O'o and Alhambra Love Songs. Great stuff.